What is a Jumbo Loan? Pros and Cons

Jumbo loans are standard loans in theory. A mortgage that the government does not back is called a conventional loan. A jumbo loan differs from a standard loan because it does not correspond.

Apart from the loan size, jumbo and conventional conforming loans differ significantly regarding the required credit score, down payment, DTI ratio, LTV ratio, income, and cash reserve requirements. A jumbo loan has advantages and disadvantages of its own and differs slightly from a traditional, conforming mortgage.

Meaning of Jumbo Loan

Homebuyers who need more cash to purchase a new property might want to obtain a jumbo loan.

Jumbo non-conforming loans exceed the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae credit restrictions. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, overseeing Fannie and Freddie, imposed conforming loan limits, or CLLs, at $647,200 as of 2022. This is an almost six-figure increase above the loan limits set in 2020. There is variation in these lending limitations between states and, more precisely, between localities.

Jumbo Loan

For instance, the conforming loan maximum in 2021 was $548,250, but in high-priced property regions like Manhattan or the San Francisco Bay Area, it could reach $822,375. It might even be higher in some places, although these are usually the exceptions to the rule.

To briefly review, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to buy loans from the banks that made them available to homebuyers. Fannie and Freddie, as government-sponsored enterprises (GSE), repackaged these loans and then offered them as mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to other investors.

When you wonder why the government chooses to get involved and why all of this is required, the answer is that it lessens the bank’s credit risk. The bank can collect its losses from the government once the homebuyer fails on the loan. This increases the bank’s willingness to offer creditworthy buyers mortgage loans for homes.

Nevertheless, some mortgages are too large for Uncle Sam to become involved in. Seven-figure home loans are too much to obtain in this manner. In addition, Fannie and Freddie do not need to support such mortgages to stabilize the housing market because most home sales will remain the same. Since the banks are now handling these jumbo loans independently, they will be much tighter about who is eligible to receive them.

How does a Jumbo Loan Work?

Even within a state, jumbo loan limitations might differ from one county to the next. Some of the nation’s hottest real estate markets are recognized to exist in California. The maximum loan limitations in Los Angeles, Alameda, and Santa Cruz counties are $822,375. However, the maximum loan amount in other Californian counties—Fresno, Humboldt, and Tulare—is $356,362.

Nassau, the Bronx, and New York countries have upper borrowing restrictions of $822,375. However, because certain areas of the Golden State are essentially rural, the highest credit restrictions in a large portion of the remaining state are $356,362. Everything relies on the country where you hope to become a homeowner.

Eligibility for Jumbo Loan

A jumbo loan is a terrific alternative for those looking to purchase an expensive home or any home in a strong housing market. Jumbo loans get their moniker because they exceed the standard lending restrictions that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae set.

The bank is on its own lending these kinds of mortgages because these government agencies will not buy such big loans from the banks to repackage as securities backed by mortgages. Because of this, they will only provide jumbo loans to applicants who can demonstrate that they have the resources and income to pay them back.

It is accurate to say that fewer applicants will be granted large loans. However, your chances are good when you know what lenders are searching for.

 Eligibility Requirements for jumbo loans could include:

  • A credit score of at least 700
  • A 20% down payment is required, while some lenders only accept 10%.
  • A LTV ratio of no more than 80%
  • A DTI ratio of no more than 43%
  • Cash in hand to cover six to twelve months’ worth of mortgage payments
  • Greater income level

Pros of Jumbo Loan

Jumbo loans can offer several benefits, such as:

  • More funding – Getting more money to buy your ideal home is the main advantage of jumbo loans. This could be the difference between renting or buying a bigger home. Additionally, you will not need to take out several loans.
  • Reduce the down payment – Traditional mortgages often require a 20% down payment. But many lenders will approve jumbo loans with as little as 5% down or, more frequently, 10%.
  • Affordable interest rates – The rate for jumbo loans might be (slightly) lower than those for conventional loans, even though they are larger-value loans. Three reasons apply to this. The yields on jumbos are first driven down by investor demand. Second, many lenders will wait to market these loans; instead, they will have them on file, which benefits their bottom line. This implies that, unlike normal loans, jumbos do not depend on secondary market prices. Lastly, lenders will be pickier about who they lend to lower their risk since they maintain them on their books, although they are fighting for the best customers.
  • Loan flexibility – Because they are not constrained by wholesalers Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, lenders can give borrowers greater freedom to select the option that best suits their needs. With jumbo loans, one can easily get an adjustable-rate mortgage with set periods of 3–10 years or a fixed-rate mortgage with a duration of 15–30 years. There are further customized choices available.

Cons of Jumbo Loan

Every loan has drawbacks, and jumbo loans are no exception. The following are the most important points to remember:

  • Property examination – Any property must be carefully inspected to make sure it meets the standards for a jumbo loan from the lender. This is challenging since different lenders have varying requirements and limitations, such as not allowing second residences, foreclosures, or short sales.
  • A strong credit rating is required – It will be difficult for borrowers with credit scores of 660 or lower to get a jumbo loan. This can be avoided by making a bigger down payment or acting appropriately to improve credit, which may take some time to complete.
  • Proof of a large income is needed – Lenders are picky, so to assure payment, they will want to see documentation of a steady yearly income and personal resources.
  • Perhaps a cash reserve is needed – To receive a jumbo loan, borrowers might have to provide (lock up) an extra year’s worth of cash reserves at the loan’s closing. This protects the lender if the borrower experiences financial difficulties.


There are benefits to jumbo loans as well as cons to consider. However, you can determine whether a jumbo mortgage is the right option for you by being an informed customer.

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